Wild Wood Bakehouse takes the gluten-free cake!

Shhh. I am sitting in Wild Wood Bakehouse, a cafe/bakery/catering company just north of UT (on 31st St., 1/2 block west of Guadalupe, park free in the garage), and I am experiencing something so unusual, I have to share.

I don’t know why I feel like whispering, but I do. Maybe because it’s such a revelation.

I could eat anything on the menu here and nothing would make me sick. I don’t have to ask about a single thing, “Is that gluten-free?” Because here, everything is. That’s right. It’s a totally gluten-free restaurant. And I have not had this experience for about 6 years. And it’s a pain in the ass to always have to be asking what’s gluten-free.

I just threw caution to the wind and ordered a club sandwich on a focaccia bun made with garbanzo bean flour. Ha!

And now it’s arrived, and the bread looks beautiful and tastes like, well, bread. You know, it holds the sandwich together and makes it easy to eat with your hands. It’s doing its job pretty well, just a little bit more crumbly than wheat bread (it’s the wheat gluten that makes regular bread “spongy”). Next time I will try a sandwich with a rice flour or sourdough bun.

And…I could have ordered — get ready for it — chicken fried steak with white gravy, fried calamari with sweet potato chips, a chicken tender basket, onion rings, beef lasagna, eggplant parmesan, grilled chicken pasta, pizza, a burger (natural Angus beef, bison, natural chicken, wild-caught salmon), and a delightful variety of sandwiches.

Not to mention French toast or Belgian waffles for breakfast. And all manner of baked goods like cookies, cupcakes, pies, cakes, brownies, dinner rolls, bread, buns, and more.

Hmm. This could be dangerous. I’m glad that this place is a bit out of my way so I won’t overindulge! I can combine weekly shopping at Wheatsville Coop, hydrating myself healthily at Juiceland (next to Spiderhouse on Fruth), and stopping here for a meal or treat.

The prices seem reasonable too. My sandwich was $8. A 9-inch pizza is $8.99. The chicken fried steak is $10.95. The most expensive item is a rib-eye steak for $18.

The menu lists what is vegan and dairy-free.

For thirst, Wild Wood offers beer (GF and non-GF), wine, sodas, coffee, tea, cocoa, fizzy water, and more.

The ambiance isn’t quite what I’d call “fine dining,” but it’s not a typical “cheap student food” campus-area eatery either. There are flowers on each table, piped-in music, cloth napkins, a friendly waitstaff, and all the bakery stuff is at the front, with the cafe in a side area.

The hours are Mon-Sat 8 am-9 pm, and Sun 8 am-3 pm. Happy hour is Mon-Fri 4-7 pm, with $3 GF beer and half-price appetizers.

If you are eating gluten-free, or at least desire to eat less gluten (which could probably benefit everyone), or someone special to you has to eat gluten-free, this is a great place to eat, pick up food or dessert to-go, or have cater your next event. Austin is very lucky to have this choice!

More Austin restaurants offering gluten-free burgers, sandwiches, bread, pizza

If you didn’t know, you do now that I eat a gluten-free diet, having a sensitivity to wheat. When I took it out of my diet about 6 or 7 years ago, the difference was pretty amazing. I felt well for the first time.

I don’t eat much grain of any type nowadays (non-GMO corn chips and quinoa — a seed, not a grain —being exceptions), and I eat at home more, but every once in a while I enjoy going out for a burger or dinner with a slice of bread, as long as I can get it gluten-free.

(And no, if you’re curious, I don’t cheat. It’s not like counting calories and cheating. Eating wheat makes me feel a bit sick for several days. It affects my digestive tract within hours, and seems to impair my brain too. I’ve learned that the hard way. I prefer well.)

It used to be difficult to find gluten-free dining out in Austin, but in the last year, more restaurants seem to be realizing it’s not just a passing fad. (Have you not heard of the book Wheat Belly? The cardiologist author says it’s likely that half of Americans are adversely affected from eating the optimized-for-agribusiness wheat grown today.)

I hated that when I asked about gluten-free food after seeing a menu that didn’t mention it, a waitperson brought out a piece of paper listing maybe 6 things, including salads that were always gluten-free anyway. Or said we don’t have a gluten-free menu.

Wow, way to make me feel handicapped and unwelcome.


I’ve posted in the past about how Hopdoddy Burger Bar on South Congress (now also on Anderson Lane) offers burgers on three different buns, and one of the choices is gluten-free (and baked in-house daily).

I think Hopdoddy may have been the first major burger joint in Austin to do so. The beef is hormone- and antibiotic free. It’s a popular, trendy, a-bit-pricey eatery that often has a line out the front door, but the line moves fast and the food is very good. Craft beer and shakes and fries give it a real “burger joint” focus.

I’d like to add that you can now get gluten-free burgers at Wholly Cow Burgers on South Lamar (also at Congress and 7th). They offer a “paleo burger” that uses portobello mushroom caps for buns as well as hamburgers/cheeseburgers using Udi’s GF buns. Other offerings with GF bread include Philly cheese steak and reuben sandwiches. The beef is locally raised and grass-fed.

Yesterday I learned that the Galaxy Cafe (3 locations: Slaughter and Brodie, The Triangle, and West Lynn) offers gluten-free bread and buns for its sandwiches and burgers. Galaxy also offers wraps made with rice-flour tortillas and gluten-free pasta, not to mention a flourless chocolate torte for dessert! All the meat, chicken, and eggs are natural, free-range, and hormone- and antibiotic free. This is my favorite place to eat out close to home.

I want to mention as well that Blue Dahlia Bistro (on East 11th, also now in Westlake) offers gluten-free bread with its delicious entrees (and a flourless chocolate cake for dessert as well). Blue Dahlia is one of my favorite places to dine: fabulous food, a casual European vibe, moderate prices, good wine list. They use local and organic ingredients as much as possible. The bread is delicious and comes from Wild Wood Bakehouse, located on Guadalupe north of UT. I haven’t been there yet, but since everything is gluten-free, it’s now on my must-check-it-out list!

When I first went gluten-free, pizza was something I craved and had to go without. I don’t have that craving any more, but I do want to note that if you’re getting a hankering for gluten-free pizza, more and more pizza places are offering it with a GF crust. (Note: They usually charge more for GF crust.) I found some reviews on Yelp.

Now for one wish: I wish that Central Market would offer more gluten-free soups at their soup bar. I’m glad they’ve picked up on labeling the major allergens their soups contain (wheat, dairy, soy, tree nuts, and so on).

It’s just that quite often, nearly all of them contain wheat — even the ones that wouldn’t  have wheat in them if you made them at home, like chicken tortilla soup. Wake up, Central Market!

Nine days into a cleansing diet

Today is a cold rainy day here in Austin, and I’m in a great place right now as I write this — in bed, where it’s warm and cozy. I hear drops hitting the trailer roof with that satisfying sound that metal roofs provide.

I’m in the 9th day of a cleansing diet.

Usually sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year, I get the strong idea that I want to eat simple food — once the holidays are over.

Don’t get me wrong — I partake of feasts and many holiday goodies. I don’t eat gluten ever, if I can help it, but I indulged in gluten-free muffins, bread, and cookies, not to mention sugar, mostly combined with chocolate. And wine. And a delicious Wensleydale cheese with cranberries.

The richness is delicious, of course, but it just gets to be too much. I start making lentil soup to simplify and make plans to really clean up my eating in January…

Now the holidays are over and we’re into January, and I’m doing the strict candida diet that I first did 5 or 6 years ago. That diet includes very limited grains (only quinoa, millet, and a few others), no dairy except plain yogurt and kefir, no fruit except lemon/lime/pomegranate, no sugar in any form, no fermented/pickled/brined foods.

You can have a lot of non-starchy vegetables, meat/poultry/fish/eggs, nuts and seeds. The only sweetener you can use is stevia.

I remember the first time I did it. I followed it so strictly. I had read that with candida, if you messed up and ate any of the forbidden foods, you could lose all the progress you had made toward clearing excess candida out of your body, and you’d have to start completely over. That’s because the forbidden foods contain sugar or become sugars that feed candida.

So my idea then was that this change in eating was so painful, I wasn’t going to mess up, because I never wanted to do it again.

Now here I am, doing it again. Not because I have candida again, but because I remember that after about two and a half months of eating so cleanly like this, I realized that I felt different.

I couldn’t describe how I felt.

After checking in closely and realizing that I had many fewer aches and pains, more energy, and no issues with my digestive system, it gradually dawned on me that I felt well.

And I’ve built on that for years.

And that’s what I’m going for again. Feeling really well. It’s not that I’m sick. I actually feel pretty blessed to have good health and be able to work 20-25 hours a week doing massage. But I could feel better.

I figured that I might as well ride the impulse to clean up my diet in January and really clean it up. And it’s not that painful, just another adventure in learning about the relationship between the food I eat and my well-being.

This might be something I do every January. It’s hard to maintain perfectly, and I miss certain foods, which I usually indulge in in moderation. The diet is like a baseline to go back to, and it has influenced my food choices quite a bit.

The book I used the first time was The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates. It explains the whole inner ecosystem idea (balancing the gut flora and fauna) pretty well without being overwhelmingly scientific and walks you through doing the diet, including recipes.

I lent that book out afterwards and never got it back, but I remember it pretty well, and some of that material is available online.

In the interim, I discovered green smoothies, which I can make differently every time, using different greens and adding fresh mint and other herbs. I’ve been making those (anyone got a Vitamix they want to sell cheap? my blender is wearing out) for breakfast, lunch, dinner.

I’m also planning to make cultured red cabbage!

I’ll report back after January ends on whether I experienced a surge in well-being and how I want to move forwards.

Meanwhile, I’m feeling pretty good, except for some aches and pains from doing massage.

Video: Les Miserables goes gluten-free. Hilarious!

When Marius, Cosette, and Epipen are invited to an allergy-friendly party at the house of Jean Valjean, each must create a dish absent of all possible allergens.

I know how they feel sometimes.

Self-care for massage therapists, part 2 (what works for me)

In part 1, I listed various self-care methods that massage therapists use for their own aches and pains from giving massage. In part 2, I want to share what I’ve tried (so far) that works.

First, I want to say that my strength and endurance have increased with practice. I used to be in pain after giving 3 hour-long massages in a row several days in a row. Now I can do 4 hours 5 days a week with just a few twinges and aches afterwards. For several weeks, though, I was hurting and feeling some despair about having upended my life to get trained and start working in this new profession and the possibility of not being physically able to do it.

Key learnings from a newbie:

  • I no longer attempt deep tissue work, sticking to Swedish and reflexology. My Swedish massages are good and getting better. I incorporate some of David Lauterstein’s deep massage strokes into every Swedish massage, and I use pressure points, stretching, techniques from sports massage, body mobilization techniques, and reflexology, depending on the client’s issues and the amount of time I have. I cannot deliver the pressure that some clients (well-informed or not about what “deep tissue” means) seem to want. If I work within my limitations, it’s win-win for everyone.
  • I trained in Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy so that I can deliver deeper pressure using my feet and body weight, controlled by holding onto overhead bars. It’s so much easier on my body and a lot of fun, too.
  • I rock with my feet and leverage my body weight strategically as I deliver Swedish massage so my arms and shoulders do less work.
  • Hydrotherapy totally rocks after a long shift. I fill my double kitchen sinks with hot water (my water heater is set to 130 degrees F. for sanitizing laundry) and cold water that I dump a quart or two of ice into. I immerse my aching forearms and hands in the water, alternating cold-hot-cold-hot-cold, for one minute each. I can barely stand it, and yet it makes a huge difference in just 5 minutes. Seems to flush toxins and swelling and pain right out.
  • I stretch my fingers and wrists, holding each stretch for 15 seconds. Good to do when driving, at red lights.
  • I press into the trigger points for the elbow and wrist (see part 1 for links).
  • I apply magnesium gel with seaweed extract topically. According to Wikipedia, symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle cramps, weakness, and fatigue, and fifty-seven percent of the US population does not get enough magnesium from food.
  • I love epsom salts in a bath. (Guess what? They contain magnesium!) When I was feeling a lot of pain all over, I would dump a cup or two of epsom salts into a fairly hot bath and add a few drops of lavender oil, then soak for 15-20 minutes. I felt like a new woman when I came out! I learned this years ago from dancers.
  • I use Young Living’s OrthoEase oil on clients’ painful muscles, and I use it on mine as well. Contains wintergreen, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and more that are analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
  • I keep hydrated and have been avoiding nightshades lately. I’m already gluten-free and eat fairly healthily. I’m interested in following an anti-inflammatory diet but haven’t done the research yet.
  • I take at least a couple of days off per week, not always together, though. I’m still finding my ideal schedule.
  • I do 10-15 minutes of yoga every morning. Sun salutations stretch and strengthen my body. Plus, it’s a great check-in to do something that starts the same every day. I start slowly and really let my hamstrings lengthen in forward bend before I move on to the next pose. I add standing poses, balance poses, and pigeon as I feel the need and to keep it interesting.
  • I get at least a chair massage every week. I’m interested in setting up a weekly trade for a full-body massage with someone, too.
  • I use a foam roller on back when needed, and a tennis ball to my gluteus.
  • I have two tennis balls tied into a sock that I use when driving to massage my back. I’ve also learned to “pop” my own back while giving massage!

Here’s something that just doesn’t fit into any of the categories I’ve seen so far about self-care for MTs. It’s about how you use your attention. I’ve learned to keep some of my attention on my body most of the time.

When I focused exclusively on the client’s body, delivering what I thought they wanted, I hurt and fatigued myself. I listen more to my body now and check in verbally with the client if I am not noticing nonverbal feedback.

If I notice that I feel rigid anywhere in my body, I say to myself, “Soften,” and my body softens.

Sometimes I put my attention on the soles of my feet and their connection to the floor/earth (I massage with bare feet always for Ashiatsu and as much as possible for Swedish), making the movements of giving massage into a soft, fluid dance.

Sometimes I attend to my breath, letting it become easy and relaxing (and audible to the client, as a nonverbal suggestion that they relax too).

All of these techniques activate the inner body, subtle body, energy body, whatever you want to call it. It feels better to give massage with this “soft present alive expanded body” than not. There is definitely an aspect of being “in the flow” that seems somehow related to doing Reiki, but I don’t know how to put it into words (yet).

Another bonus: the sensations of pain and fatigue become distant as peace and love fill my awareness.

I don’t know if clients perceive the difference, but I don’t think it could hurt. I do it for me because I “in-joy” it!

It’s been four months since I got licensed and began working. I look forward to learning even more new things about self-care and sharing them here.

Best gluten-free burger in Austin at Hopdoddy’s!

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this, but my body does not digest wheat well at all. I learned this five or six years ago, and after going without it for a couple of months while on a strict diet to clear excess candida, I noticed a very unfamiliar feeling — I felt, well, well, and I had hardly any fatigue, digestive issues, or feeling like my mood and energy level were on a roller coaster ride. For the first time in, like, forever.

I changed my diet drastically, although it took time for me to really accept that if I ate that piece of pizza, I’d feel bad and “pay for it” later for a few days. I did learn, though. Over time, I learned that I can handle maybe a quarter teaspoon of wheat (such as dusted on blackened fish) without problems.

So being an all-American girl raised in Texas, I missed eating burgers. Not that they were ever a mainstay of my diet, but when you can’t have wheat, you find out what you miss. (Burgers and pizza.)

A couple of times I craved one so badly, I went out and ate one, gluten bun and all, and paid the price for satisfying my craving, which was several days of digestive upset and not feeling too well.

Then I’d make them at home with ground bison patty and toasted Ezekiel bread made from sprouted grains, which my body tolerates. (Toasting it is the only way to make it palatable, in my opinion.) It was good, but I still missed being able to just go out to a burger joint and eat a burger.

Well, today was bliss. I ate lunch with my daughter at Hopdoddy’s, a fairly new and very popular Austin restaurant on South Congress that offers a variety of burgers on a variety of buns — including gluten-free. I’d read reviews about how good their burgers were and that they offered gluten-free buns. I looked forward to tasting for myself.

This is what I had:

That, my friends, is a gluten-free bun, and it was light and kind of crispy on the outside. Toasted! And it actually had some flavor, too.

The Buffalo Bill burger (using bison from Thunderheart Bison, South Texas) came with blue cheese, apple-smoked bacon, “Frank’s hot sauce,” and “sassy sauce.”

All I can say is that it was delicious, and it feels so great to know I won’t feel ill. I’m not a big meat or burger eater, but it’s great to know I can indulge occasionally.

I’ll be back!


Postscript, 11/17/13: For a down-home, less expensive alternative to Hopdoddy’s, I’d also like to give kudos to Wholly Cow (downtown and South Lamar) for making grass-fed burgers (request Udi’s gluten-free buns) and for their awesome Fit Cross Paleo Burger, served with portabello mushroom caps in place of buns! Both made with local, grass-fed beef.

On becoming gluten free

I was inspired to write this post by the blogger Gluten-Free Girl. She invited people to share their symptoms. They were so all-over-the-place, including migraines, arthritis, random crying, fatigue, menstrual difficulties, infertility, canker sores, peripheral neuropathy, Hashimoto’s, and many more types of suffering, that I wanted to share my story and let anyone who’s just found out about candida and/or gluten-intolerance, or whose story is similar to these, know that there’s hope.

Life can be so great when you have your health. And the food industry and restaurants are increasingly becoming aware of the need to offer us alternatives.

If you have a gluten-free story, I urge you to share it at the link above. It makes a huge difference to have a lot of stories in one place. There are millions of us (18 million out of 307 million Americans, by latest estimate, have celiac or gluten intolerance), but most of us experienced feeling like we were the only one. We have lots of company!

And…in my opinion, this post and all the comments should be required reading for health care practitioners.


When I was a child, sometimes on weekends, my father would make pancakes for breakfast.

Halfway through a stack of two pancakes buttered with margarine and smothered in fake maple syrup (because that’s how we ate back then), I’d start to feel not so good. Not really sick, but not well, either.

I guess the best description is that my usual vibrancy disappeared. I felt a little woozy, a little queasy, somewhat clumsy and sluggish. My belly didn’t hurt, but it didn’t feel good either.

It would last for a couple of hours, then  dissipate. I stopped liking pancakes.

Looking back, that was the most flour I ever ate at once. My family wasn’t big on bread. We didn’t eat much pasta or fried breaded food. But we did eat pancakes and sandwiches and cake and cookies and gravy, so I ate wheat if not every day, then several times a week.

In adulthood, I often had diarrhea, gas, and bloating, and less often, I had painful colon cramps that doubled me over, but I never reported it to a doctor. I thought I was just prone to stomach bugs.

In hindsight, I had no idea what good bowel health was. People just didn’t talk about it! That’s a good topic for another post… ; D

Generally, I felt dull and sluggish a lot of the time. Dissociated, not quite present, uncoordinated, depressed. (I also had PTSD, also unbeknownst to anyone. It’s hard to truly know what to attribute these symptoms to.)

I had skin problems — outbreaks of adolescent and adult acne. I had itchy, blotchy rashes at various times on my stomach and chest, my back, and my arms and legs. I would break out in a rash from sun and heat.

I took Seldane and later Claritin daily for allergies. I didn’t get the association between dairy and mucus, or between liver health and allergies, back then. I thought my allergies were all due to airborne irritants. I didn’t believe it was possible to care for my health so that I didn’t need pharmaceuticals.

I know differently now.

I often had low energy and was easily exhausted. I’d go out on Saturday mornings to run errands, and after two hours, I’d hit the wall energetically and have to go home and take a nap. I attributed it to the stress of being a working single mother.

Oh, yeah. I was told that I was a colicky baby, often screaming for hours. Hmm.

I did receive muscle testing and acupuncture treatment (NAET) for allergies in my mid-40s, when I first became interested in alternative medicine. I remember being told that my body reacted to grasses. I thought it was to grass pollen in the air. I never thought of grasses as foods. Of course, wheat and other true grains are grasses! As is sugarcane.

NAET helped. I no longer had an annual winter sinus infection, and I only needed to take Claritin 3-4 times a year.

I still had the occasional colon cramps and diarrhea, gas, and bloating. The colon cramps could be so painful, I’d become pale, break into a cold sweat, and feel weak and shaky.

It took me a long time to heal after a car accident in 1996. My body hurt. I had low back pain and was diagnosed with scoliosis (not sure when it started, and it’s now healed with chiropractic help). I had a couple of bouts with plantar fasciitis. My weight fluctuated by as much as 35 lbs., and I’m 5’1″.

The enamel on my teeth had gotten thin or worn away in spots, leaving me with sensitive teeth. I often had night sweats. I developed rosacea. I had canker sores. Sometimes the toes on my left foot went numb. I lost bone density.

I’m just today realizing that these health problems may have a connection with being gluten intolerant, after reading others’ stories. There are over 300 symptoms of celiac. No wonder it’s so often misdiagnosed. It’s enough to want to tell anyone with inexplicable symptoms to go gluten-free for a month and see if that helps.


I grew up knowing very little about the relationship between food and health. I was never tested for food allergies. I had “hay fever”, and my digestive symptoms appeared when I was an adult.

One of my brothers had asthma and was tested, though. He had the traditional scratch test and was found to be allergic to a lot of things, both food and airborne. He reacted to cats, dogs, pollen, dust, eggs, dairy, nuts, and a lot of other foods, but not to wheat or grains. He took shots for years.

While going to Active Life Chiropractic in late 2006 for treatment, I was told that my health insurance covered food sensitivity testing (the Immuno 1 Bloodprint tests your blood for over 100 foods) and asked if I was interested. I agreed to be tested, thinking that I probably had some minor food sensitivities.

The results of my food sensitivity test came back a couple of weeks later. I was found to be sensitive to wheat, oats, two kinds of yeast, two kinds of beans, potatoes, tomatoes, and sugarcane. That was mind-boggling!

Because of the yeast and sugarcane, my doctor recommended that I be tested for candida. That test came back positive.

So I started my gluten-free journey with the candida diet, which meant no grains, dairy, any sweetener except stevia, yeast, fruit, juice, alcohol, potatoes, peanuts, legumes, mushrooms, chocolate, caffeine, condiments, vinegar, high-glycemic anything, cured or pickled or fermented anything.

(Hmm, isn’t it interesting that most of the foods I tested sensitive to were also banned on the candida diet?)

I cleaned out my fridge and pantry of everything with any forbidden ingredient in it. I didn’t want to be tempted or to make a mistake. It took over an hour to read the ingredients on every single label, and at the end, I had two paper grocery bags full of food to give away. Bye-bye, Michaelangelo’s frozen lasagna, Campbell’s tomato soup, soy sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup, barbecue sauce, coffee, honey, maple syrup!

My start date rolled around. It was by far the most drastic change in eating I’d ever experienced. It was so drastic, I decided to stick to it 100% so I would never have to do it again. Dang, it was rough, but I was determined to find out if I could feel better. 

I lost weight and went to bed hungry at times. Breakfast was the biggest problem because there were no traditional breakfast foods that I could have unless I wanted eggs every day. I often ate fish and salad (with Annie’s vinegar-free salad dressing — bless you, Annie) for breakfast.

Food was no longer inspiring — instead, it was plain and simple fuel. If I got hungry, I just waited until the next meal. Meat, fish, eggs, and non-starchy vegetables were my mainstays. Scrambled eggs were yummy with salsa verde on top. Little discoveries like that kept it interesting.

I took a supplement called Candex, which helps dissolve the cell walls of yeast. My poop smelled yeasty for the first few weeks.

After about a month, I discovered the book The Body Ecology Diet and began making young coconut kefir at home and  drinking Helios brand plain dairy kefir with FOS to get some probiotics into my gut. I slowly added grains like millet and quinoa and low-glycemic fruit like blueberries, Granny Smith apples, and kiwis.

(By the way, if you borrowed that book from me, I’d like to have it back.)

After two and a half months, I noticed that I felt really different. I felt physically good and my energy level had increased, and I noticed that I felt more present, like my brain was working better, like some kind of brain fog had lifted. I could focus better, read more difficult books, understand more complex thinking than before. My memory improved. I experienced myself differently. I felt smarter and more alive!

I stuck to the strict diet until my body told me I had cleared the excess candida, which was 3 months. The test had said I had mild candida. If it had been severe, I still would have stuck to it to find out if I could feel better. Anything to consistently feel better.

I transitioned from the candida diet to avoiding the foods I had tested sensitive to — the wheat, sugar, potatoes, and so on — and taking it easy on the other candida avoids.


I was tested again a year later. Candida was balanced. I was sensitive to fewer foods (a couple of new ones too), but wheat and several other foods were still a no-no. My chiropractor had my blood tested this time for gluten. I wasn’t sensitive to it, only to wheat. So probably wheat inflames my small intestine.

Then my health insurance stopped covering the test, which was too expensive to continue on my own, so I haven’t been tested again.

Meanwhile, I read Eat Right for Your Type and noticed a strong similarity between the candida diet and the recommended diet for people with Blood Type O. Type Os should not eat wheat.

My theory is that people are born sensitive to certain foods and stay that way, and other food sensitivities come and go, based on stress and/or overexposure and sometimes maybe just shifts in body chemistry. Sometimes we crave the foods that make us feel bad, and sometimes we instinctively avoid them. That is some great learning there!!!

If you can’t afford to get tested but suspect you have food sensitivities, try the Blood Type Diet. I bet you’ll feel better — and it includes feel-good foods, not just avoids.

Also, I’d love to know how many celiacs, gluten-intolerant folks, and people with candida are Type Os and how many are another blood type. Please comment!

I was still in denial about wheat. I’d tell myself that every once in a while, I could have a burger or some birthday cake. I enjoyed those moments, but I eventually learned from experience that my body just cannot handle more than a quarter teaspoon of wheat without affecting my small intestine adversely, and that if I do “get glutened”, it takes 3 days for my body to get back to normal.

What I suspect happens is that the lining of my small intestine gets irritated by wheat, and it stays that way, interfering with absorbing other nutrients, until the wheat is completely out of my body.

That’s 3 days of malnutrition.

It’s just not worth it. I can now resist cake, cookies, burgers, and so on. I feel so much better consistently when I do. 

I’ve learned over the past five years that I can handle spelt and Ezekiel bread, but it also seems important that I don’t eat them often. In general, my body doesn’t do well with grains. Rice is my most tolerable grain. Quinoa is great. It’s a seed, not a grain.


I have no idea if I have celiac disease, and it doesn’t really matter. Gluten-free means wheat-free, and I’m fine with describing myself as being gluten-sensitive or gluten-intolerant, as eating a gluten-free diet. My body doesn’t agree with wheat in particular, grains in general, potatoes, some legumes.

So basically, to cut to the chase, I spent over 50 years of my life consuming something that made me feel bad, interfered with absorption of other nutrients, and diminished my presence, intelligence, and vitality. I don’t like to dwell on thinking how much better my life could have been if only I or my parents had known. That feels tragic, and I can’t change the past. I want to feel great in the life that’s ahead of me.

I suspect my mother may have been gluten-intolerant. She often had gas, bloating, and bowel issues, low energy, took a lot of naps, had arthritis. She had anemia a lot as a child and young adult. She never knew.

I’m so grateful that I know and can act now. And if telling this story helps one person have better health, investigate, or stick to a gluten-free diet, it’s worth it.